Thursday, March 31, 2016

Coconut milk Whipped Cream

This vegan whipped cream is a delicious topping for strawberry shortcake, spread over a cookie... or a spoonful or two all on it's own.  Thanks for the idea Jesse!

1/ 13.5 oz can of organic classic (full fat) coconut milk
1/2 tsp cardamom powder (Be sure to purchase this where there's a frequent turn over of their stock)
1 T pure maple syrup

Chill the can of coconut milk overnight.  Drain off most of the liquid (may be as much as 2/3 cup) and set aside.  Beat the milk solids with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, then beat in the cardamom and maple syrup.  (A teaspoon or two of the reserved coconut liquid may need to be whipped in at this point for a smoother consistency.)  Chill overnight for an even thicker, richer whipped cream.  

Have a joyous and blessed day!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Winter Carrots

Planting extra carrots in May or June (in western New York State) will leave enough to cover with mulch late in the fall for fresh carrots all winter long.  Thick leaf mulch 12-14" deep extending out 12" on all sides will keep them from freezing in even the coldest winters here.  The first time a frost is forecast, 2" of mulch is placed over the exposed ends of the carrots, leaving the greens exposed to continue to grow. Then in 1 to 2 months when the forecast dips down to around 25-28 degrees F, it's time to apply the thick layer of mulch.  (Mark the ends of the rows well, and any time the winter temperature rises to 32 degrees F or more, pull back the mulch and dig up fresh, crisp sweet carrots!) When applying the heavy mulch layer in the fall, the carrot greens needn't be removed, just dump the mulch right on top of them if you like.  On the other hand, taking most of them off doesn't hurt them either: For those with a juicer, the carrot greens may be juiced along with your other favorite greens such as kale, spinach, beet or collards to name a few.  Take care to leave a few stems per carrot for the years we get an extended fall season.  
 Another way to have fresh greens longer in fall and spring: plant a more winter hardy variety of spinach the first week in August and place a cold frame over it before the first frost, leaving it there all winter.  In the spring the plants begin producing fresh leaves very early.  By the time these plants begin to go to seed, your early spring planting of spinach should be well on its way.  If you plan ahead and plant parsley in May or June in that same area the cold frame will be, you will be rewarded with late and early parsley as well.
 Please note:1- Be sure to check the temperature inside the cold frame on sunny fall and spring                                    days.  If it gets too hot it may need to be propped up a bit to cool down the plants.
                    2- There is a slight chance of small animals  sneaking under the mulch and eating                                     your carrots from the top down, but in 20+ years this has happened here only once. 

Have a joyous and blessed day!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Drink Your Watermelon

For a super simple, refreshing and nutrient rich drink, it's hard to beat fresh watermelon 'juice'.  This is great on a hot summer day, before or after a workout, or anytime one needs a little energy boost. Only two ingredients needed:

1/4 medium sized watermelon 
1 lime

Wash the watermelon before cutting into, ( of course!) Take 1/4 of the watermelon and cut into chunks, including most of the white rind.  Place half of this into a high powered blender such as a Vitamix.
Wash and cut the lime into 4 pieces and place one piece (including the entire  rind) into the blender with the watermelon. Blend on high until liquified.  (A rather thick liquid actually.). Repeat with the remaining part of the watermelon and a piece of lime. Chill in the fridge and enjoy.  Half a lemon will also enhance the flavor of the watermelon, but the lime gives it a bit more zip. Doubling the amount of lime enhances the flavor even more, as well as increasing the amount of vitamin c.

Have a joyous and blessed day!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Coconut Cream Coleslaw

For a very quick delicious coleslaw, only five ingredients are required:

2 cups green cabbage sliced thin
1 cup red cabbage sliced thin 
1/4 cup carrots cut in thin pieces
1/4 cup canned coconut milk, whipped until light and fluffy
1 or 2 tsp maple syrup 

Mix the veggies together in a bowl. Whisk the coconut milk and maple syrup together and stir into the veggies. Add more maple syrup as needed to your specific taste.  Serve immediately. 

This is a very flexible recipe. Basically, two parts green and one part red cabbage with a little carrot thrown in. As for the dressing: if it's a fresher can of coconut milk, just whisking until smooth is sufficient, adding a little maple syrup to your liking, and adding as much as suits you to the veggies. 

Another simple but equally pleasing dressing is a two to one ratio of 100% orange juice to maple syrup, mixed liberally into the veggies. 

Another option: serve the veggies in one bowl, the dressing in another for each person to mix in the amounts they prefer. Separately store any left over veggies and dressing in the fridge (with as little extra space in containers as possible to keep fresher longer, as with any leftovers). The veggies will stay crisp for 2-3 days, all ready for your next bowl of coleslaw.  

May you enjoy these, as well as the other simple joys and blessings that come your way each day!